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I’m going to share some simple tips on how to rearrange your kitchen to support your weight loss efforts. Obviously one of the main places we have control over is our own kitchen. It is one of the rare areas in our lives where we have more or less complete control – subject to the whims of our family. That’s a good thing because you can change things up a bit and experiment with what works for you and what doesn’t.
According to Brian, there are a number of things you can do to trick out your kitchen to skinny-fy your eating. Remember if you want to BE skinny, you need to DO what the skinny people do!
Easy Tips to Skinny-size Your Kitchen
- For starters clear off your counters and table completely. According to the research, you could lose a pound or more per month simply by keeping ALL food off of your counters, especially cereal boxes. They just are visual cues that make you want to eat even when you’re not especially hungry.
- Play around with your plate sizes. Use a salad plate instead of a dinner plate and a small portion will look like much more. My kids just bought me a set of red plates for my birthday – red traditionally is a STOP color, so it sends a subconscious sign to eat less. Use smaller serving bowls and smaller serving spoons. We are wired to consider a certain amount of scoops – 3 to 5 as a “serving” and our brain doesn’t pay attention to the size of the spoon, so if it’s a huge spoon that automatically equates to a large helping.
- Change your glasses as well. You will pour 15% more liquid into a short, wide tumbler than you will into a tall and elegant highball glass. Our brain is trained to look at the level on the side of the glass rather than estimate a certain number of ounces. Silly brain…
- Serve everyone a large glass of cold water with their meal. They can have another beverage if they want it, but they are likely to drink the water just out of habit and most people run a bit dehydrated, so it will help and also fill them up faster during the meal.
- Revamp your fridge. I did this to mine this weekend and so far, it’s working quite well. Move the veggies OUT of the crisper and put them on the main shelves. I used a bright blue plastic basket marked “Healthy Stuff” and put them right on the main shelf. Then I filled up the crisper with the high-calorie breads and things I want to eat LESS of. Temping things like pies and cookies should be put in opaque packaging like foil or non-transparent Tupperware. Healthy foods should be front and center and in clear plastic bags or containers. That’s an easy fix, isn’t it?
- Un-Costco your food – no really, I mean it. I know that every other person on the planet (besides me! See my Costco story) has a love affair with Costco and their enormous containers of food. However, what I know from reading these books is that these huge “economy” sizes are making us FAT. I’ve noticed this myself. When I HAVE a lot of something, I tend to USE a lot of something. It doesn’t matter if it is cereal or shampoo or cat food. But if I don’t have a lot of something, I tend to use it a lot more sparingly. That is now referred to as the Costco effect. Your brain is just happier with manageable amounts of things. So, I’m not saying not to buy the Costco items, I’m just saying do the single-serving thing for yourself. Pre-package the items into smaller sized containers and leave the 50 gallon drum in your basement food storage or somewhere out of sight. I promise you – this one tip will shave 20 pounds off you in a year!
- Change the way you serve food. Keep the salad or veggie bowl smack in the middle of the table. But the meat and the starches need to remain over on the stove or counter. We are lazy creatures and we are much more likely to take a second helping of salad rather than get up and walk 10 feet to get more potatoes. (Although my husband proved this one wrong last week – he was quite willing to walk over and take another huge helping of potatoes when I moved it over onto the stove, but according to the research, that is not the norm)
So, in short making a few simple changes in your kitchen could result in you and your family both eating better food choices without feeling deprived and as Martha says – that’s a good thing! Plus, you’ll save money.
Most of these ideas came from a book by a brilliant behavioral scientist called Brian Wansink. He has written several books, but these are my favorites:
Here’s a link to an earlier post I did on his previous book Mindless Eating. Again, it has tons of ideas for how to easily change your eating habits for the better and how to get your family on the healthy eating bandwagon too, without ANY whining and fussing from your kids OR your husband!
Here are the other posts coming up in the series (I’ll add links once they are published.)
#1 – Beat the Buffet
#2 – Skinny Size Your Kitchen – that’s today!
Other posts you may enjoy: